Monday, May 2, 2011

imovie PSA

Using iMovie I created a public service announcement for California State University San Marcos. To do this I had to use the software to edit video clips, add music and add researched information about the school. (NETS-T 1-5)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Inspiration! (NETS-T 1,2,4)

This artifact is a graphic organizer that I used to demonstrate how the projects in this class meet the NETS-T standards for teachers.

Journal # 10

"Learning Connections: What? Wikipedia In History Class?" By Jeremy Boggs (NETS 1,2,and 4)

Boggs, Jeremy. (2010). Learning connections: what? wikipedia in history class?. Learning and Leading, 38(4), Retrieved from

Summary: In this article Jeremy talks about how he uses Wikipedia in his history classroom. He does this through a project that he assigns to his students. He says that this assignment, that has his students research and write an article for Wikipedia, makes them become more responsible digital citizens. He also says that this assignment shows his students the differences between fact only writing and analytical writing, introduces them to research methods and shows them the benefits and pitfalls of Wikipedia. First he has his students select a relevant topic based on their interests. Then they have to write a five hundred word article that is required to have bibliographic data from two books, two websites, and also two other Wikipedia pages. After the students publish their articles they must periodically check them to see if anyone has added anything or made changes. They must then connect with the people who made the changes. At the end the students have to write a reflection on the project. The last thing he says is that it also helps students learn to format online and write professionally for publication.

Question 1: Do you think this is a good project for students?
A: I want to be a history teacher. In my opinion this is a great project. It teaches students a ton of skills! Also it makes the grading process paperless becasue the educator can just go on Wikipedia to see the students work. The only downfall that I see is some students may not have access to the internet at home so the whole project would have to be done in school.

Question 2: What is the big deal about Wikipedia in the classroom?
A: Wikipedia is a great resource if used correctly. There is a wealth of general research information and it is a great place to get a little background on a topic. That being said anyone can edit the information available so some of it may be less reliable. Pages can be marked for deletion if there is false information. Use with caution.

Journal # 9

“Point/Counterpoint: Is Technology Killing Critical Thinking?” By Helen Crompton and Alfred Thompson (NETS 1-4)

Crompton, Helen and Thompson, Alfred. (2010). Point/counterpoint is technology killing critical thinking?. Learning and Leading, 38(1), Retrieved from

Summary: The article defines critical thinking as the ability to carefully evaluate and think about the information presented to us. Alfred Thompson answered yes to the question postulated. One of his main arguments was that technology is a tool not a solution, as it is often used. Just replacing the whiteboard with a projector screen will not promote more critical thinking. He also says that tools like email and instant messaging that could be used to teach collaboration in the classroom are more often than not blocked by school firewalls. He ends his part of the article by saying that technology in schools is really only being implemented in the classroom to make work easier and faster, not to foster critical thinking skills. Helen Crompton argues that technology is not killing critical thinking, but can actually foster it. She says that technology, and specifically the internet, can allow for students to look beyond the four walls of the classroom. Also she argues that technology allows students to become the producers and editors of information and not simply the consumers. She does admit however that it is the job of the educator to help students to learn to use technology to develop critical thinking skills.

Question 1: Whose side am I on?
A: I believe that technology can be used to teach students critical thinking skills. I think that it has to be done responsibly and actively though because it won’t teach itself. Educators must show students the proper ways to use technology in addition to other skills. Technology gives students a vast array of resources to research. By teaching them how to evaluate all that they see on the internet an educator is teaching his/her students critical thinking skills.

Question 2: Explain a project that you would do in the classroom using technology to foster critical thinking.
A: Here I would have my students use Google Blogger every time we start a new chapter or subject. I would have them go and collect images and sayings from the topic we are studying and have them make an online gallery. Then I would require that they engage in the discussion about what they think about each item posted. Then I would have them do research and post a before and after reflection.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Journal #8


Bogacz, R., & Gordillo, M. (2011). Should schools be held accountable for cyberbullying. Leading and Learning With Technology, 38(6), Retrieved from

The article first talks about schools being held accountable for cyber bullying. Bogacz says that technology has created a way for children to bully one another and as a result all educational stakeholders cannot ignore it and must work together to prevent it. Bogacz says that without cooperation between parents, teachers, school administrators and students cyber bullying will continue. The other side of the argument is presented by Gordillo. He says that no schools should not be held responsible. He argues that the root of bullying at school starts at home. According to him if students receive love and support at school there will not be as much cyber bullying. Parents are the first educators of their children and they need to understand how to cooperate with schools to educate their children and prevent cyber bullying. He says that schools need to play the role of rebuilding the family, but they can only support this not make it happen. In conclusion both of these arguments are completely different. The first says that schools can play a huge in preventing cyber bullying, where the second says that the main role is up to the family with only a supporting role from the schools.

Question 1: How as a teacher can you help prevent cyber bullying?
A: I believe the teacher can have a huge impact on reducing cyber bullying. As a teacher I would be sure to discuss the negative consequence in my class and foster a classroom community based on respect. Also a teacher could send a home a no cyber bullying contract to the parents to inform them about the issue and what they can do to help. I would also make sure that my students know that if they ever needed to report cyber bullying that I am there to help.
Question 2: How much of cyber bullying can be held responsible on the parents?
A: This is a tough question. Gordillo’s argument made a lot of sense to me. If a student isn’t exposed to love and respect in his or her home life how can we as educators expect them to act in these ways at school. Parents need to understand that they play a large role in their child’s actions. This being said I think that schools and parents need to act cooperatively to teach students. If this can occur then students will hopefully be less inclined to participate in cyber bullying.

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network

Journal 7: My Personal Learning Network

1. My personal learning network is a communication and resource network that allows me to interact with like-minded individuals. It allows for information to come to me without me having going looking for it. Using my PLN I gain access to a plethora of resources to further my learning. If I’m looking to use more technology in the classroom or am having problems with my lesson plan my PLN can assist me by giving me access to other educators and research that can help me resolve my problems.

2. I use Twitter to find resources to better implement technology in the classroom and follow teachers who may have interesting tweets on education in general. Two interesting people that are in my network are hidefteacher and teachofhistory. Hidefteacher is a website that shares the best and low-cost resources for teachers on the web. This can help me gain access to resources on the web that I can use in my classroom. Teachofhistory is the twitter account for a website that is designed to help history teachers with lesson plans and worksheet based resources. Since I want to be a history teacher this Twitter account can give me help with what I use in the classroom. I joined the sschat, which is a chat for social studies teachers. I participated in it on March 28th at 3:00 P.M. There were many topics discussed during the chat. One of the topics that stuck out to me was how to facilitate discussion in the classroom. Some people suggested discussion questions and some talked about student presentation. During the student presentation discussion it was interesting to see what teachers thought about what a student presentation should be like. I can see that using these chats would enable me to gain invaluable information from other individuals experiencing some of the same issues as me.

3. Diigo is a great networking tool. With Diigo I can follow individuals who are researching the same topic as me and see what sites they have bookmarked. These bookmarked sites usually have resources that I can use for my own research. It allows teachers to collaborate on their research and share useful sites. The sites that I tagged PLN are all blogs that have to deal with education. The first site I tagged is a blog that gives me updates on news and politics that are going on in education that week. The second is a blogging site where teachers can go to share ideas and educational resources. The last site that I book marked is a blog where teachers can go to get information about teaching the subject of history. Since this is my strongest field I found this site both interesting and helpful. Now anyone in my PLN has access to these blogs as well. The Diigo tag roll on my blog allows people to see how often I use tags and allows them to access these sites I have tagged using specific labels.

4. I joined Classroom 2.0. The article that I explored addressed the topic of whether or not teachers and students should be “online friends” using sites such as Facebook. I found this article while looking around on one of the many forums Classroom 2.0 has to offer. There were arguments for both sides. Some said that this it was creepy that a teacher and student would have online access to one another. Mainly though the article seemed to be leaning that as long as the teachers keep their “educator hat” on, to use the author’s phrase, teachers and students being friends can be helpful. This creates a stronger relationship between students and teacher and also allows a student to seek advice or ask questions directly to the teacher via the web. As long as it is used in a professional manner I feel that I fall in with the category that says it’s ok for teachers to be students “friends” on the web.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Journal #6

Journal #6: “Grow Your Personal Learning Network” by David Warlick (NETS 3&5)

Warlick, D. (2009). Grow your personal learning network. Leading and Learning With Technology, 36(6), Retrieved from

This article is all about how an educator can use his/her personal learning network to communicate with other educators and gather resources to become a better teacher. Warlick breaks PLNs into three main types. The first is the personally maintained synchronous connections. These are the people and places you consult for help in your field. They are real time resources. Technology that fits into this first type can be things such as instant messaging, texting, twitter and this like video chat. The second type is personally and socially maintained semi synchronous connections. These are conversations that don’t necessarily have to happen in real time. The individual can work them around their schedule. Examples of this type of PLN using technology are blogs, face book walls, and Google docs. The last type is dynamically maintained asynchronous connections. Here sites like Diigo and Twitter can help to bring the educator content sources and information that can help and improve the way teachers do their job in the classroom.

Question 1: What is an effective tool in building your PLN and why?

A: One tool that I was very skeptical about was twitter. After using twitter however I have found that it is one of the best sites to build your PLN and gain resources from. I can subscribe to people who are interested in education and in the social sciences. Once I am following them I get to see their posts about helpful web links and can use those links to help me learn.

Question 2: How do you use your PLN most effectively?

A: I think that the best way to make your PLN to go to work for you is to follow relevant individuals and groups. Also to make sure that you are checking in on your PLN regularly and contributing to the discussion where appropriate. Educators should use their PLN to learn new and better ways to teach. Also a PLN will help you keep on top of hot topics in teaching and things like new technology that may be coming out.